ABL urges govt to implement reforms, cut deficit.
Summary: The president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Salim Sfeir, said Tuesday that lenders are willing to support the economy provided that the authorities start implementing reforms.
BEIRUT: The president of the Association of Banks in Lebanon, Salim Sfeir, said Tuesday that lenders are willing to support the economy provided that the authorities start implementing reforms. "Lebanese banks are unique and enjoy high liquidity. Lebanon has all the potential and youth elements. The situation first requires reforming this course, to allow us as a banking sector to continue to support the economy and to create job opportunities," Sfeir told reporters after meeting President Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace.
Sfeir, accompanied by a delegation from the ABL, briefed Aoun about the current situation of the banking sector and also exchanged views on the best ways to cut the budget deficit and kick-start the economy.
"It was an occasion during which we discussed the prevailing economic and financial conditions in the country. His excellency stressed the prominent role played by the banking sector as a cornerstone of the economy and in supporting stability in Lebanon," he added.
Sfeir said the delegation underlined the importance of reducing the budget deficit. "For our part, we stressed the importance of the current phase of the adoption of the budget reforms, and the commitment to the deficit rate estimated at 7 percent," he added.
Sfeir urged the government to take all the necessary steps to improve financial conditions, especially the execution of the electricity plan and CEDRE-related projects, as well as the start of oil and gas exploration.
"On the occasion of the recent released measures, we reassured the president of the solidness and resilience of the Lebanese banking sector, especially since the Association of Banks has succeeded in recent years in applying the best compliance rules, as well as its commitment to the circulars established by the governor of Banque du Liban as well as international standards. Our banking sector is well connected with financial regulators in both the United States and Europe," Sfeir said.
He also commended BDL Gov. Riad Salameh for safeguarding monetary stability and the reputation of the banking sector.
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